February 25, 2017

Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of February 20, 2017


Upgrades:


Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (LON:RBS) was upgraded by stock analysts at Barclays PLC to an “equal weight” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday. The firm presently has a GBX 250 ($3.12) target price on the financial services provider’s stock, up from their previous target price of GBX 200 ($2.50). Barclays PLC’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 3.14% from the stock’s previous close. Continue reading here.

Royal Bank Scotland PLC (The) (NYSE:RBS) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Barclays PLC from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. Continue reading here.

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) upgraded shares of Rolls-Royce Holding PLC (LON:RR) to a buy rating in a report issued on Monday. The brokerage currently has GBX 1,030 ($12.83) target price on the stock, up from their prior target price of GBX 743 ($9.26). Continue reading here.

TotalFinaElf, S.A. (NYSE:TOT) was upgraded by equities researchers at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. Continue reading here.

Parker-Hannifin Corporation (NYSE:PH) was upgraded by equities research analysts at J P Morgan Chase & Co from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $173.00 price target on the stock. J P Morgan Chase & Co’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 12.56% from the company’s previous close. Continue reading here.

Morgan Stanley upgraded VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) from Underweight to Equalweight with a price target of $50.00 (from $48.00). Continue reading here.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was upgraded by research analysts at Bank of America Corp from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $88.00 target price on the retailer’s stock, up from their prior target price of $76.00. Bank of America Corp’s price target points to a potential upside of 22.72% from the stock’s previous close. Continue reading here.

Home Depot, Inc. (The) (NYSE:HD) was upgraded by Morgan Stanley from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report released on Thursday. Continue reading here.

Unilever NV (NYSE:UN) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Societe Generale from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday. Continue reading here.

Deutsche Bank upgraded Franklin Resources (NYSE: BEN) from Sell to Hold with a price target of $41.00 (from $37.00). Continue reading here.

Downgrades:


Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) downgraded shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE:RDS.A) from a conviction-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning. Continue reading here.

United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Bank of America Corp from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. They presently have a $114.00 price objective on the stock. Bank of America Corp’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 7.93% from the company’s previous close. Continue reading here.

Reynolds American Inc (NYSE:RAI) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Wells Fargo & Company from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report issued on Thursday. Continue reading here.

February 24, 2017

These Are the 5 Perfect Dividend Stocks for Today's Market


The nearly decade-long era of ultra-low interest rates has been kind for dividend-paying stocks. Not only have they often offered payouts that are more robust than the yield on 10-Year Treasuries, but they have also racked up spectacular share price gains.

The SPDR S&P Dividend ETF for example, has rallied an impressive 215% since the market bottomed out in March, 2009.

But income-oriented investors now face a changing backdrop. Rising bond yields are now surpassing the payout levels of many dividend producers. To stay ahead of the curve, you need to focus on firms that have a long history of rising dividends in any economic climate. That means "dividend aristocrats."

Here are five that currently offer dividend yields ahead of the 10-Year Treasury rate.




February 23, 2017

Why This Billionaire Just Shelled Out $1.1 Billion on 4 Drug Stocks

Allergan, Mylan, Pfizer, and Teva attract a lot of attention and cash from David Tepper's hedge fund, Appaloosa Management.



"A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money."

It's debatable who first uttered that phrase. What isn't debatable, though, is that David Tepper and Appaloosa Management are accustomed to throwing around plenty of real money. The multibillion-dollar hedge fund run by Tepper spent over $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 on just four drug stocks: Allergan (NYSE:AGN), Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), and Teva (NYSE:TEVA).

Why so much money on these stocks? And should ordinary investors follow the billionaire's lead? Let's look at what makes these particular pharmaceutical stocks so attractive.




February 22, 2017

Best Dividend Stocks For 2017


With interest rates near-zero and bonds yields paltry, dividend stocks enjoyed a strong run in 2016. This has changed in 2017. Dividend stocks have fallen out of favor.

Investors expect interest rates to rise as President Trump's plan to spur economic growth stokes inflation. A substantial number of investors, however, need income. Although interest rates may rise, they are unlikely to shoot up dramatically anytime soon.

Studies repeatedly show dividend-paying stocks that consistently increase dividends outperform non-dividend paying stocks. As such, this is a good time to scout for high-quality dividend stocks worth investing.

Here are some ideas:




February 21, 2017

3 Utility Stocks That Will Pay You To Invest In Them


Ever since the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates artificially low. So low that investors who typically invest in bonds for the interest income they provide have had to look elsewhere. Unfortunately, there weren’t many places to look. As a result, most investors turned to blue chip companies that were a relatively safe investment and paid a nice dividend. Enter utility stocks.

But not all utility stocks are equal. If you are looking for a safe place to park your money while earning a nice dividend, you have some research to do. Luckily that is where this post enters. There are 3 utility stocks out there that are a good place to put your money and they will pay you to own them through healthy dividend payments.

Understand that since these are stocks, you can lose money when the market drops. But they are solid companies and should not be as volatile as the market as a whole. And since they have had a pullback recently, now could be the time to get in. So what are these 3 utility stocks?




February 20, 2017

Why The Coca-Cola Co (KO) Dividend Star is Waning

Patience may pay off for KO holders, but beware...


The Coca-Cola Co (KO) manufactures, distributes, and markets nonalcoholic beverages worldwide. This dividend king has paid uninterrupted dividends on its common stock since 1893 and increased payments to common shareholders every for 55 years in a row. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.‘s (BRK.A,BRK.B) is the largest shareholder of the world’s largest beverage company.

The company’s last dividend increase was in February 2017 when the Board of Directors approved an 5.70% increase to 37 cents per share. Coca-Cola’s largest competitors include PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP), Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (DPS) and Monster Beverage Corporation (MNST).

Over the past decade this dividend growth stock has delivered an annualized total return of 8.90% to its shareholders.